Little to boast for tourism
This is in reaction to Jeannette Andrade’s report on the purported “success” of tourism in the country, which had a weird headline, “P-Noy’s tourism pitch lures foreigners to typhoon-bait PH” (Business, 6/25/16). When will media stop being in denial about the country belonging to the list of undesirable places for foreigners to visit?
We may consider kidnapping and beheading cases in Sulu far from our major cities, but visitors who plan their holidays often research the places they go to, and no amount of propaganda from our tourism officials will convince those who just want to be safe in their travels.
Former Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez whistled in the dark, like so many old and incoming government officials who engage in shows of bravado to boost their egos. Compared to the progressive countries around us which they should visit and learn from, they are mere amateurs dabbling at something beyond their scope of understanding.
Writing in London’s Financial Times recently, David Tang lumped Manila in his list of ugliest cities in the world. When one finds dirty streets in Manila and Cebu, with electrical wires hanging willy-nilly, and with squatter shacks and gated communities found cheek by jowl, we have very little to boast about, besides the irony of finding so many smiling people who seem incomprehensibly cheerful amid all the squalor.
—T. E. MANZANO, email@example.com
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